Some Facts You May Not Know About Cavities

Dentist Blog

Cavities are discovered basically every time someone visits a dental clinic. While at the dental clinic, your dentist can tell you whether the cavity is serious or just a small problem. Cavities do not instantaneously appear in your mouth, and they do not show up as large tooth-devastating problems. Your dentist can confirm how your cavity is progressing. Here are some facts you may not know, and how a dentist can help you learn more and fix cavities—ragardless of which stage they may be at. 

The First Stage of a Cavity

An X-ray cannot pick up the first stage of cavities. That is because the first stage does not involve pitting. These "baby cavities" only leave a white spot on the affected teeth. The white spots may remain for weeks or months before developing into a pit. Your hygienist can spot some of these little white spots and alert you and the dentist to their existence. If you avoid processed white sugars and corn syrup products and brush twice daily, it may be several months to a year before these "baby cavities" turn into pits. Of course, the reverse is true—if you never brush and have a constant diet of sugar and corn syrup, the white spot may turn into a pit in about three months. 

The Second Stage of a Cavity

The second stage of a cavity is a small to medium sized pit. It is a dark spot on a tooth as a small pit, but as it deepens and gets bigger, your dentist and hygienist can use a dental pick to poke into the cavity. When they do that, they can tell how deep the cavity is and whether or not it has reached the nerve of the tooth. An X-ray can also verify the size of the cavity. You can choose to fill this little cavity now or leave it alone. If you leave it alone, the cavity will get bigger, but it may take several more months to a year or more before it is a really big cavity and/or before you can feel it causing twinges of pain. 

The Third Stage of a Cavity

Now the cavity is really big. It is very noticeable when you open your mouth and take a look for yourself. It hurts something fierce because the nerve is exposed. It has taken months or years to get to this point. If you are really lucky and have been very good to your teeth, it may have taken several years to go from a white spot to this. Your hygienist and dentist will urge you to restore the tooth before it is too late. 


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Do you have "bad teeth"? I do. Ever since I was a kid, every checkup turns up a number of issues ranging from cavities to dental fractures. It has always been frustrating to keep my smile in decent shape, which is one of the reasons I started focusing on understanding different dental problems. I wanted to know what I was getting into when I visited the doctor, so I began focusing on learning as much as I could. I wanted to create this blog all about dentistry so that other people could find out what to expect when they head to the dentist. Check it out!